Walmart apologized Wednesday to Sen. Josh Hawley for a tweet it said was mistakenly sent after the retailer’s Twitter account called the Missouri Republican “a sore loser” over his announced plan to object to the Electoral College results next week.
A close ally of President Donald Trump, Hawley is the first senator to announce his plan to object to electoral votes from some states won by President-elect Joe Biden. Some conservative House Republicans have also said they will object on Jan. 6 to electoral votes from states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia, in a move to overturn Biden’s 306-232 electoral victory.
After Hawley tweeted Wednesday morning that he planned to join the effort, a tweet issued from Walmart’s Twitter account read, “Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser.”
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Soon after that, Hawley responded, “Thanks @Walmart for your insulting condescension. Now that you’ve insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?”
And in a follow-up tweet, he jibed: “Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business.”
Subsequently, Walmart deleted that tweet, saying it was “mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team.” In addition to apologizing to Hawley, Walmart noted the company has “no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college.”
Hubbub over Walmart’s flub and Hawley’s response led to thousands of comments and a #BoycottWalmart trending hashtag.
One commenter asked why there wasn’t a check on what Walmart’s Twitter account could post. “So one junior employee can tweet on behalf of a mega corporation with a $407B market cap?” he asked.
Walmart told USA TODAY it had nothing to share about the incident beyond its statement on Twitter.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.